The Bavarians fell behind to Nemanja Vidic’s against-the-run-of-play header, but Bastian Schweinsteiger soon evened things up, before receiving his marching orders for a second-bookable offence in the final minute.
Manchester United’s Danny Welbeck had the ball in the net inside three minutes, but the goal was swiftly chalked off for a high boot in the build-up. Bayern responded in kind as Arjen Robben whipped a trademark curling effort wide of the far post, before Thomas Müller went within a whisker of wrapping his boot around Franck Ribery’s dinked cross.
Bayern’s ploy of overloading the flanks was working a treat, with only Alex Büttner’s last-gasp intervention preventing Robben from picking out Müller following a typically flowing move. David Alaba then wasted a promising opening, much to Pep Guardiola’s chagrin, but all the signs were there for a United side unable even to get out of their own half.
A full-stretch David De Gea kept Robben at bay as Bayern turned the screw, with Vidic coming to his side’s rescue moments later to divert Alaba’s inch-perfect cross out of Müller’s reach. The home side had been massively up against it, but should arguably have gone in at the break in front after Jerome Boateng’s slip played in Welbeck, who failed to get the better of Manuel Neuer one-on-one.
Buoyed by a resilient first-half display, the Premier League champions took charge of proceedings after the restart when Vidic headed home a Wayne Rooney corner. The introduction of former Borussia Dortmund midfielder Shinji Kagawa added fresh impetus to the hosts’ cause, prompting Guardiola to reshuffle his pack with the introduction of Mario Mandzukic.
Schweinsteiger hits back
The Catalan’s shake-up had the desired effect as Robben found space down the Bayern right to release Rafinha. Mandzukic coolly knocked the Brazilian’s ensuing cross down into the path of Schweinsteiger, who sent an unstoppable effort into the top corner to bring Bayern deservedly level.
Efforts on goal from Robben and Ribery aside, Bayern were unable to summon that final, decisive push, though, with the contest instead ending on a somewhat sour note after Schweinsteiger picked up his second yellow card of the night for a foul on Rooney that rules him out of the return leg in Munich in a week’s time.
Man United: De Gea, Jones, Ferdinand, Vidic, Büttner (Young 72'), Valencia, Carrick, Fellaini, Giggs (Kagawa 46'), Rooney, Welbeck (Hernandez 84')
FC Bayern: Neuer, Rafinha, Javi Martinez, Boateng, Alaba, Robben, Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Ribery, Kroos (Götze 63'), Müller (Mandzukic 62')
Goals: 1-0 (Vidic 57'), 1-1 (Schweinsteiger 66')
Red card: (Schweinsteiger 90')